Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: another Simpsons salary standoff, Fox says the Black Swan lawsuit is Darren Aronofsky’s problem, and Daniel Day-Lewis pokes around a Goergetown cemetery for his role in Lincoln.
Fox and the voice actors on The Simpsons are once again locked in a salary dispute that has put the show’s future in doubt. The issue is over how big of a paycut the actors will take next season in exchange for a small piece of the show’s backend revenues. The six principal voice actors reportedly offered to reduce their salaries by 30 percent next season, which would be ths show’s 24th. Fox executives rejected the offer at a meeting last night, saying that if the actors don’t slash their rates 45 percent next year, the show will “die an abrupt death as a first-run series” after the current season, writes Lloyd Grove. We’ve been here before: in 1998, production was delayed two-and-a-half weeks while the cast attempted to wrangle piece of future syndication profits. Fox responded by putting word out it was in the market for replacement voices. In 2004, similar demands resulted in a six week production delay. Those negotiations didn’t result in the cast getting a profit stake, but the show remained on the air. [The Daily Beast]
Fox Searchlight effectively passed the buck to Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky in its response to the lawsuit filed last week by two unpaid interns who claimed the studio violated federal wage laws by stocking the production with unpaid interns. In a statement, Fox called the lawsuit “meritless,” but was quick to add that that the “interns were not even retained by Fox Searchlight and, in fact, were working for the production company that made Black Swan well before Fox Searchlight even acquired its rights in the film.” In other words, if there was intern labor exploitation, it happened under Aronofsky’s watch. [Deadline]
A bearded Daniel Day-Lewis was spotted wandering around Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown yesterday, presumably still doing research fir his role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Lincoln’s son Willie was buried in Oak Hill after his death from typhus in 1862. [The Reliable Source]
It doesn’t look like Adweek editor Michael Wolff is going anywhere. Jimmy Finkelstein, the head of Adweek‘s parent company, who reportedly spent much of September on the hunt for Wolff’s replacement, tells Paid Content that Wolff’s “not being fired.” Finkelstein added, “If I were going to fire someone, it would not be in the pages of the magazine or a news site. We do have differences, but we’re working through them to continue to build Adweek.” [paidContent viaFishbowl NY]
Newly-minted New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson completed a two-day “State Visit” to the paper’s Washington bureau yesterday. She reportedly had dinner with reporters on Sunday night, which was followed by “a pep rally/seminar yesterday maestroed by Assistant Managing Editor Rick Berke” yesterday. In an email to Politico’s Mike Allen, Abramson added that her visit included sessions “on how to fine tune our reporting for The Caucus [[and] how to report the secret backers behind the candidates,” adding that staffers also:heard from operatives from both parties.” [Playbook]
Jennifer Aniston kept her distance from the Washington media while attending a screening of the Lifetime original movie Five at the Ronald Reagan Building last night. While co-stars Patricia Clarkson and Jeanne Tripplehorn walked the red carpet (which was actually blue) and answered questions about the movie, an anthology of five short films about breast cancer, Aniston refused to speak to reporter. Instead, she “simply stood on the carpet, showered with camera flashes, and kept a distance from reporters.” [The Reliable Source]
“Two porn companies” are reportedly prepared to enter into a bidding war for a 20-year-old sex tape featuring Tupac Shakur, despite the fact neither company has seen the alleged footage. “YouPorn honcho” Corey Price told TMZ his site has offered $150,000 for the tape, sight unseen. That’s said to be “way too low” for the seller, who has been in contact with a second, unidentified porn site, which has vowed to to beat the current offer — but only if it can screen the footage first.” [TMZ]